Inside the Waistband, or ‘IWB’ holsters can be comfortable, but like any great pair of shoes, you’ve got to have the right fit. And like shoes, there is no shortage of options out there. You might be surprised to learn that your holster isn’t the only thing to consider when ensuring a comfortable carry.
With more than 18 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States today, we’d venture to say there are nearly as many opinions when it comes to how to carry your firearm.
There are many factors to consider when deciding how best to conceal carry your firearm - like your body type, your day-to-day activities, your clothing, and even how much time you spend driving a car or a truck should be considered. To help you get up to speed, we’ll cover a few of these topics and discuss a bit about some of the terminology you might hear or read.
The Right Pant Size For Comfortable IWB Carry
You’ve heard the phrase ‘too big for your britches’ right? Well, sometimes a holster can be too big for yours too. If you like wearing tighter fitting clothes, you might find that having an IWB holster jammed between you and your favorite pair of jeans is less than desirable.
Consider going up a size or two in waist size on your next shopping trip. So, if you normally wear a 32 waist in your favorite pair of jeans, try a 33 or 34. This will help keep you comfortable and avoid ‘printing’ when you carry.
Is Kydex a Comfortable Material For Holsters?
Leather and Kydex are just a couple of the options available. Kydex is very popular due to the ability to have a thin profile and a custom secure fit for your gun.
The security that comes with an IWB Kydex holster is going to provide a great deal of mental comfort that goes beyond just physical comfort. It’s custom form fitting shape holds your gun securely in place throughout the day and makes for easy reholstering.
You can also choose different types of IWB holster styles. Some larger with two clips and some smaller with a single clip. These are made with the positioning and comfort in mind based on your preference. Vedder Holsterscarries a great variety of holster options.
Which Holster Position is Most Comfortable?
While every user is different, some common carry positions are: 3 o’clock (on your hip), 4-5 o’clock (just behind your hip), or even the appendix (the front). You’ll want to try out different positions to see which is best for you. Remember, it may take a day or two to determine the position that you like so, don’t become discouraged.
Does Wearing a Gun Belt Make IWB Carry More Comfortable?
You should think of your holster as a part of your overall concealed carry system. Another important part of that system is your belt. Using your favorite well-worn dad belt will prove to be less than ideal allowing your gun to sag. Consider a belt that is actually designed to carry your holster. This will ensure your holster stays comfortable and secure where it is supposed to be.
The biggest difference between a regular belt and a belt made to carry a gun is strength and stability. Gun belts are made with tougher, higher grade materials, making them stiffer and better able to maintain shape, fit, and function when carrying.
And don’t worry, there are many options from tactical web styles to solid core leather that would work with your Sunday best suit. Check out our award winning gun beltsto learn more.
More Adjustability Means More Comfort With IWB?
Ride height refers to how high or low the holster sits on the waistband. Look for a holster that allows you to adjust the ride height. This will help you find your preferred position to draw and holster your sidearm. In addition to ride height, look for a holster that has an adjustable cant. You can think of this like tilting the pistol grip forward or backward.
This feature goes back to your ability to draw and holster safely while also maintaining overall comfort. It will also have an effect on your comfort level when sitting down. The Vedder LightTuckTM IWBfeatures both an adjustable -30 to +30 cant and an adjustable ride height.
Choosing the Right Gun For Comfortable IWB Carry
As with holsters, there are many options which can help improve your degree of comfort when carrying. Depending on your body type, large or small, there are a variety of firearms on the market made specifically for concealed carry.
When choosing what size gun you want for concealed carry keep in mind the barrel length and grip size. A longer barrel can dig into your body making it quite uncomfortable. A larger grip can also be uncomfortable and making the gun harder to conceal.
We have found that having a comfortable holster helps put your mind at ease with the knowledge your gun is secure and easily accessible if the need arises. Perhaps even more important is that the right fitting IWB holster properly conceals the fact you are even carrying.
How Long Should You Try Each IWB Setup?
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to the comfort of IWB holsters. We know from experience that finding the right holster can be as personal as finding the right firearm or shoes. Just remember that even when you make that informed choice, it might take some time to get used to carrying IWB as well as drawing and firing. We recommend that you carry in one position for a few days and then try another until you find the best spot for your day to day activities.
Remember to choose the right pant size, a gun that best fits your frame, and a holster that allows for adjustments to ride-height and cant. Also consider your holster as a part of your CCW system and consider a proper gun belt to keep your holster safely in place. Try driving with your holster in different positions to find what works best for you.
Comfort is one of the most important factors to consider in not only your everyday clothing but in your concealed carry system too. IWB holsters can be not only physically but also mentally comfortable, especially when you keep the factors we mentioned above in mind when choosing your holster.
IWB’s are an excellent choice when opting to carry, but ultimately it comes down to what you prefer and what meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsterswebsite.
Looking for items beyond holsters and belts? Check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.
Check out our helpful video - "Make IWB Carry Comfortable".